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Piaggio Beverly 300 HPE first impressions scooter review (2021)

Piaggio Beverly 300 HPE review 2021

After a luxurious commuter scooter? Well stop right there, the Piaggio Beverly 300 HPE wants a minute of your busy office-based-commuter time!

Details
Manufacturer:
Category:
Maxi Scooters
Price:
£ 5400
Overall
Not rated

HEADING the commuter line-up from Piaggio for the last 20 years, the Piaggio Beverly has been a staple in the mid-size scooter world, crossing the grand touring and urban mobility segments and creating a luxurious and elegant scooter that’ll you see all over London, along with its three-wheel MP3 cousin.

If you’ve got a New York minute sized gap in your schedule, the Piaggio Beverly 300 HPE would like to ‘touch base’ with you. A meeting of minds, tete-a-tete. Or whatever the office lingo of choice is.

In the short time Bev and I were acquainted, we did everything a commuter wouldn’t do - namely, blast around the rural back roads of Northamptonshire chasing Tuonos and RSV4s for an hour or so. Perhaps not the classic commute, but stretching its legs gave a great chance to test this scooter to the limits as a Grand Tourer, so here’s what I thought of the Piaggio Beverly 300 HPE.

What’s new on the 2021 Piaggio Beverly 300 HPE

Entirely redesigned Beverly for 2021 following a 20-year service as an icon in the scooter world, the model receives a raft of updates extending that bit of elegance that the Piaggio brand likes to hold over the rivals.

Updates include the ‘new sporty design’, the HPE (High Performance Engine) for the 300 & 400 powerplants, new front & rear Showa suspension, new rims and new saddle, keyless system, new handlebar controls, and option for the Advanced Piaggio MIA connectivity system (standard on the 400 HPE model). 

Piaggio Beverly 300 HPE Euro 5 2021 availability and price

Available in dealers for £5,400, the 2021 Beverly 300 HPE Euro 5 comes in Blu Oxygen (Blue), Bianco Luna (white), Grigio Cloud (grey-ish). 

Compared to the rivals, the new Honda SH350i is £4,999, Yamaha XMAX 300 is £5,700, Vespa GTS 300 is £5,150, and other options like the 2021 Burgman 400 with a price yet to be confirmed, but potentially £6k+.

Worth noting that for just £600 more, you could get the bigger 400cc Bev model with larger dimensions, taller seat, and slightly bigger motor. For the sake of a few hundred quid, I’d be looking at the £6,000 Beverly 400 HPE - especially considering neither model is crossing any licence barriers, both able to be ridden on an A2 licence.

Engine and power

New on the 2021 Beverly is the 278cc single-cylinder HPE motor with refined internals, including 3mm increased diameter of the intake and exhaust ducts. Power is up 23% from the outgoing model, giving you 25.4 bhp @ 8000 revs and 16% extra torque with 26 Nm @ 6250 revs to play with. 

Top speed I recorded was 75 mph or so, but in theory is around 86mph, making it more than adequate for a long-distance commute. Power picks up well and is put down smoothly through the belt drive system, gears handled effortlessly by the CVT, and thanks to the new Magneti Marelli MIUG4 ECU with greater calculating capacity, works even more efficiently. 

The route we were following on the day covered some town riding, B-road scratching and A-road blasting with this peppy twist & go motor. Bev was more than happy (trying) to keep up with the sports bikes along for the ride - for the most part! You’ll forgive me for not staying with the Tuono V4 and RSV4 that were at the front…

Handling - Suspension, Brakes, Wheels

With a large 16” front wheel and 14” rear wheel, the Beverly continues a 20 year tradition of poised and top handling scooters. Front and rear suspension provided by Showa in the form of a 35mm telescopic front fork, and twin rear Showa spring shocks with 5-step preload adjust.

Sitting at 185kg kerb weight with its double-cradle steel frame, this scooter feels balanced and comfortable on the road - even on bumpy B-roads caked in mud - so it’ll cope with the worst city roads with ease. 

Stopping power is provided by a massive 300mm front disc and 240mm rear disc, both with floating callipers. The front disc is the largest in this category, and both discs are served with two-channel Bosch ABS, with ASR traction control thrown in too.

All in, the road feel is quality, and I certainly had a top time scooting through the countryside. That being said, Bev doesn’t come with a screen as standard, so a touch more wind protection would have been welcome - but it’s an accessory you can add on if you need.

Rider luxuries

For a luxury brand, Piaggio can’t afford to hold back - and luckily the boxes are ticked here. Keyless ignition is a system that can raise an eyebrow, but works well here. If the key is nearby (in a jacket pocket for example), pressing in the control knob on the leg shield gets the lights on, and the normal ignition button gets the party started, with bright LED lights all-round.

Charging a device is possible with the built-in USB port, and that wireless key can also be used to access the under-seat storage to fit your full helmet - a large AGV K6 fits underneath, I checked.

Bev really is comfy, the 812mm seat is luxurious. Comfortable, padded and a good size - as a 6’3” rider, scooters are often a dark art to get settled on. But only positives here, and the 1540mm wheelbase inspires confidence, and I could sit with feet flat easily. Shorter riders should be fine.

Also worth a mention is the Piaggio MIA connectivity system with the downloadable smartphone app. I didn’t get to play about with it, but it’s said to allow call management, music controls and more through the new 5.5” LCD instrument cluster display - which is very clear and well laid out, whilst we’re there. The Piaggio app will track vehicle status, fuel consumption and track your last saved location.

Commuter scooter

With 12 litre tank (including 2-litre reserve) with listed consumption of 71mpg, or 30.3 km/l - a full tank could give you a theoretical range of around 160 miles.

A seasoned UK commuter will know the elements can be a major foe on a commute. To combat this, you’ll be pleased to hear there are heated accessories on offer, including: heated saddle, heated grips, and heated leg covers. Windscreen is an option worth thinking about, as is a top-box.

What we liked and didn’t like

Admittedly my time with Bev was fleeting, enough to get to grips with the scooter and get a feel for the power and style - but not enough to pick up any serious gripes. 

I liked the ease of use with the wireless key - you could literally keep it in your bag and not have to fumble about looking for it, the power delivery was smooth and it was surprisingly nippy, with comfortable sizing and seat. Plus a full-size helmet actually fits under the seat.

If you were to press me for negatives after a short ride: Wind protection was zero so I’d opt for a screen, some stop-start tech would be nice (but not vital), and it’d be great if the price was closer to the £5k mark - but it is considered a premium brand. It’d be nice if the difference between the 300 and 400 models weren’t so close, yes the Bev 400 is geared for longer commutes and tours, but at £600 difference it’s like splitting hairs.

Verdict

All in all, first impressions of the Piaggio Beverly 300 HPE are stellar. Bev is a premium commuter scooter for a city commuter, for someone that needs an easy to live with scoot that’s more than happy to stretch its legs on the back roads, as a bonus carrying that bit of prestige that you can only get with the Piaggio brand. 

This Beverly 300 HPE model has received a number of updates for 2021, and if you’re after a commuter with that edge of style and prestige, it’s certainly one worth heading to your local Piaggio dealer to try out. 

In an age where commuting is going to be all about space and avoiding crowds, Beverly is a lovely option with that Made in Italy flair - it even works for a tall rider.

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Find out more about on the Piaggio site.